Local Photographer Puts Nature on Display at ENC

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Charles Weinberg in front of his photos on display at the Environmental Nature Center. — Photo by Sara Hall
Charles Weinberg in front of his photos on display at the Environmental Nature Center. — Photo by Sara Hall

After a long career of delivering babies, retired doctor Charles Weinberg now finds his passion in photography.

A collection of this “serious amateur” photographer’s work is now on display at the Environment Nature Center. The show will continue through the end of April.

Western Tiger Swallowtail at the butterfly house at the ENC — Photo by Charles Weinberg
Western Tiger Swallowtail at the butterfly house at the ENC — Photo by Charles Weinberg

Many of his photos were taken at the ENC, including all of his butterfly shots.

The Environmental Nature Center is a wonderful place to visit, he said, and he encourages anyone, especially families with young children, to come and enjoy

“I come here often. I find it very relaxing to just come here and walk around,” Weinberg said. “And I find just taking photos is very relaxing.”

Walking around the grounds at the center offers plenty of photo opportunities, he added.

He also has some bird photos, as well as other shots taken at Newport Harbor, Back Bay, and other locations in Newport Beach, including hummingbird shots taken in his own backyard in Newport Coast.

There are also photographs from trips to Africa and China.

He has loved photography since he was a teenager, he said, and he started taking photography more seriously as a hobby while in medical school.

“I was always fascinated with the technology’s ability to capture special moments in our lives so we could re-live them at our choosing,” Weinberg wrote in his biography.

The combination of med school and developing photos in a dark room kept him busy.

Cheetah on the prowl in Africa. — Photo by Charles Weinberg
Cheetah on the prowl in Africa. — Photo by Charles Weinberg

“In those days, you had to develop negatives, wait for them to dry, make a contact sheet, and start printing your pictures with an enlarger,” he explained. “It was very time-consuming, so I just stopped after medical school. It wasn’t until digital photography came along and it was quicker and easier to develop photos that I started doing it again.”

It was the early to mid 2000s when he got back into photography, he said. His first digital camera was a Nikon D50.

He’s come a long way since then, and so has Nikon.

Now, he uses a D300 with a long zoom lens, so he can shoot nature photography at a distance, a D800 with a wide angle lens, and D700, with a versatile 28-300 lens.

He got more involved with photography after retiring from medicine as an OB/GYN about 10 years ago.

After taking his first trip to Africa he really started to find his passion again.

“I fell in love with Africa,” he said. It was the journey of a lifetime, he wrote in his bio.

It allowed him to hone his skills and learn more about nature photography.

“My pleasure and personal satisfaction comes from sharing these memorable photographic experiences with you,” the biography statement reads.

Charles Wenberg poses for a photo as he sets up the gallery. — Photo by Karen Weinberg
Charles Wenberg poses for a photo as he sets up the gallery. — Photo by Karen Weinberg

He really enjoys animals and nature photography, as well as human interest and documentary work.

“To capture a photograph, it’s a historical event, so I’m also a historian in a sense. People can appreciate it years later,” said Weinberg, who also takes photos for his Temple.

Having his photos on display as art is a bit unnerving, he said. Will people like them? Will anybody buy a photo? Will they bring enjoyment to others?

“Photography is very personal,” Weinberg said, adding that people will look at a photo and some people will connect with it and love it, while others won’t give it a second thought.

“Art is very subjective,” he stated.

He would be satisfied if people just visited the center, looked at his photos, and understand and appreciate what he does.

Of course, it would be nice if someone bought one. Not only to help pay for supplies and printing costs, he said, but also for the knowledge that someone else is enjoying his work.

He tried to price them reasonably, he said, so they are accessible to everyone.

“At this stage in my life, I’m not in it as a professional to make money, I’m just trying to make it pay for itself…It makes me feel good to pay my way, so if I make enough to buy some equipment or print my pictures, I’m satisfied,” Weinberg said. “But I really do this because I enjoy it. I’m retired, and between tennis and photography, it keeps me busy. As you get older, you need something to do, so this is my thing.”

 To see more or to purchase other photos contact Weinberg at [email protected]

EDITOR’S NOTE – Charles Weinberg frequently contributes to the Indy through his freelance photography.

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